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"Terra Firma" (STW Records)

Reviewed by Jason Savage

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Bolton, MA (yes, Bolton - not Boston) has produced one of today's premier hard rock acts in a band called Medium. Although the group is new, they are no strangers to the scene. Drummer Derek Kerswill played in Long Distance Runner and toured with Shadow's Fall who opened for Slayer and Pantera. Guitarist Pete Cortese was once in Overcast. Now, Medium is set to take over the world. I was very impressed with their debut album, "Terra Firma." Here is what I found:

There are five tracks on this demo and leading off is "Fret." Right out of the gate these guys proved they could smoke! Thick stoner rock guitars trudged along as vocalist Dean Ross' sounded so much like Tool's Maynard James Keenan, it frightened me! Image if Maynard sang stoner rock, what a concept! "Smokestack" was next and Ross changed his delivery drastically. To say I can't compare it to anyone else is probably a good thing but it was cool to say the least. It had a bluesy megaphone feel to it and felt good running with the heavy riffs. 

The title track, "Terra Firma," didn't disappoint with its chunky fretwork and Ross singing yet again in a different direction. He sounded kinda like Don Dokken but don't hold me to that. You've got to hear this thing for yourself to believe it. This is some quality, toe-tapping, headbanging, grab-your-Graffix shit! 

Other songs are "Medulla Ob-lon-ga-ta" and "Icarus," which is a defining moment in stonerability as it takes the listener on a ride through a trippy mellow 60's soundscape. Woven strategically between this are some killer riffs, haunting echolike vocals, and terrific drum beats that make use of triangles and cymbals unlike anything I've heard in this millennium.

Wow! I guess I'm getting way too excited over this but what can I say. This is some very cool stuff. They have many influences that are evident such as Tool, Kyuss, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Queens of the Stone Age - they even sound somewhat like "Badmotorfinger"-era Soundgarden. Yes, I own that album, but it does rock. 

This CD is a must for anyone that digs stoner rock or likes their metal on the low end side. Peace. 

Medium is: Dean Ross (vocals), Kevin Schuler (bass), Pete Cortese (guitar) and Derek Kerswill (drums).

Check them out at: 

Rating Guide:

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) A classic. This record will kick your ass.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) So-so. You've heard better.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

restinks.jpg (954 bytes) Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2002 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02 Aug 2020 16:31:46 -0400.